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Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Stolen Heart

You can take my heart

You can take my heart and put it in a box

You can take my heart and put it in a box and lock it in a cage

But my heart will not be there

When you wake in the morning

The bars will be cut open and the box will be elsewhere

I will take nothing else

Not your chalices or candlesticks

I have no use for ornament, no need for burnished gold

I am gone to the old place

To the cave above the lake

I have pared back my ribs to make a new mansion

Lent has come to remind us

Of the need for human sacrifice

For too long, you have made a fool of my heart

I have taken back my heart

I have taken back my harm

You must fill up all your cabinets with other magic charms.

©  Helena Nolan

Dublin patron saint's heart stolen in cathedral raid
Helena's work has appeared in anthologies and literary magazines including; The Stinging Fly, The Moth, and the Spoken Ink audio website. She is the 2011 winner of the Patrick Kavanagh Award.


  1. Beautiful, Helena!

  2. I like the idea that the saint is taking back the relic himself. Some deeper meaning I detect too.

  3. Such a lovely piece Helena, makes you wonder is it symbolic of the state of our sad little country at the moment. Has the heart gone from Dublin? Intriguing!

  4. Yes, beautiful Helena. I too wonder if the heart is gone from the very fabric of our beings!

  5. Well done Helena, works very well even without the Laurence O'Toole reference.

  6. Love the point of view chosen Helena, it lends such a delicious eeriness:)Go Laurence!

  7. enjoyed ever word.thank for sharing